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My Marketing Dream? Are Honda smart or dumb?

I’d like to offer Honda hearty congratulations. It’s a brave move to remove all of your sponsors’ logos from your F1 cars and replace them with a beautiful image of our planet. Ignoring for a moment those skeptical thoughts of how green an F1 car is… let’s look at how good their marketing idea is.

They bought the domain myearthdream.com (you can see it on the rear wing) and it appears they also bought mydreamearth.com at the same time. A smart move, as I’m sure many people will type this instead when they go looking for the Honda site.

But I was astounded to find that, with the first F1 race of the season taking place in my home town of Melbourne, they hadn’t registered myearthdream.com.au

Big companies are getting smarter when its comes to online marketing, but it seems as though they may still be behind their smaller cousins. Don’t they realise that in Australia we’re used to everything ending in .com.au? Or do they think the hundreds of thousands of fans here wouldn’t mind or care? What a wasted opportunity! They could have spend $33, grabbed the Aussie domain for a couple of years & opened a conversation with locals that cared.

Another example of corporate stupidity… SustainableisGood.com had a wonderful post recently on the various domain names that Johnson & Johnson had registered to ‘protect’ themselves from possible detractors of Splenda (for non-Americans, the sweetener/sugar-substitute). They bought hundreds of domain names (among them are splendakills.com & victimsofsplenda.com) in an effort to stop potentially unhappy consumers creating less than complimentary sites. But, as Seth Godin pointed out:
“Is there enough money in the world to buy enough domain names to keep a determined person from saying something nasty about Splenda?”

It seems ridiculous that a company, seemingly as websavvy as Johnson & Johnson (they recently bought Baby.com in an effort to completely own that lucrative niche), would stoop to such tactics – surely they realised this would backfire & generate far more negative publicity that if they’d not worried about the domain names & concentrated on creating a better product.

Ah well, the good news for us little guys is that Small is the New Big & you don’t have to have a multi-million dollar budget to be creative or smart.

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